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Sezione Frenante - Metafora Di Un Viaggio CD (album) cover


Sezione Frenante


Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.19 | 31 ratings

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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Italian prog is scattered with occasional bands that were active during the Seventies heyday of the sub-genre yet never got around to committing their music to a proper album. Formed in Venice, Sezione Frenante are the latest to join that group, performing live during that defining decade alongside notable Italian progressive groups such as Le Orme, Perigeo, Biglietto per L'Inferno and others, yet breaking up after a few years before making any official recordings. With several members reforming in 2006 with the help of a couple of new musicians, the band finally deliver their debut album some forty years later, `Metafora di un Viaggio', a vinyl-length mix of reworked older compositions and brand new material, and it's sure to please lovers of the classic Italian prog sound.

Despite many tasteful and lengthy instrumental passages, several of the pieces here are dominated by younger member Franco Nardo's powerful vocals. Singing in his native language, he displays great control and is less flamboyant than many of the usual theatrical-styled Italian singers, but he has a hearty and impressive voice all the same. Some may find him mixed a little too upfront here, but this disc joins the fine tradition of vintage Italian works with boisterous lead singers like those on the Alphataurus, Jumbo and Rustichelli & Bordini albums. Sadly, Franco has now been replaced in the band by the original singer Luciano Degli Alimari, so this album will serve as a fitting brief tribute to the charismatic vocalist Franco and his emotional, spirited performance.

Opener `Quattro Stelle' is one of a few longer, more ambitious pieces. It initially starts with reflective electric piano tip-toes behind a tolling bell, Steve Hackett-like guitar strains and droning church organ that reminds of gloomy Italian band Abiogenesi, but it jumps up in tempo with some whirring Moog and a frequently reprised accordion theme that will make you smile! Tasty instrumental `Attesa' has a mid-tempo galloping P.F.M-like guitar melody backed up by nimble- fingered thick murmuring bass and the warmest of humming Hammond organ. `La Quiete in un Attimo' bristles with punchy Genesis-like regal electric guitar and organ fanfares before shifting into delicate classical piano and wounded soulful crooning, and chiming guitars and shimmering organ bring a touch of uneasy atmosphere behind Franco's wail for `Viscido Ambiente'.

Le Orme fans will adore the constantly soaring organs of the two part `La Meta non Trovata' (but with a bit of surprising heavy guitar funky groove thrown in too!), and it sure seems like Franco is channelling Aldo Tagliapietra vocally here as well! After interlude `Passaggio' interrupts with upfront pumping bass and wild organ stabs, the second part reprises the main theme with some victorious Moog and heroic piano lifting high into the heavens. With a constant dramatic build growing in stature throughout the almost ten minute epic `Svegliati Luce', the band manage to include everything from phasing electronics, a touch of gothic piano mystery, whirring Le Orme- flavoured Moog, booming military drumming and beautiful thoughtful bass ruminations, and the lead guitar strains in the finale bring to mind Frank Bornemann's playing on the early Eloy albums. `Pace Immaginata' is a catchier, more accessible bass-driven tune with a foot-tapping beat and delicate Mellotron choir harmonies, plus a nice scratchy guitar solo in the middle. Finally, there's plenty of acoustic guitar warmth, sweeping and prancing P.F.M/Genesis pomp and glorious Hammond organ throughout the eight minute closer `Nota Stonata', and a soaring vocal makes it quite a romantic piece to end the album on.

There is one secret weapon that sets Sezione Frenante's album apart from so many other more extravagant and lavish recent Italian works. The whole disc has a stripped back, more direct, possibly rougher sound quality that actually succeeds in making the music sound like a genuine lost Seventies vintage Italian prog relic from the golden era! Plenty of newer bands adequately convey similar sounds to the classic Seventies works, but none quite capture that true quality as effectively and convincingly as Sezione Frenante do here.

`Metafora di un Viaggio' gets Sezione Frenante's belated studio recording career off to a great start, and the results have been more than worth the wait. A mix of pleasing melodic tunes and subtle, restrained but quietly thrilling instrumental moments, with a very joyful quality constantly present really makes this album shine brightly. Hopefully we see the band build on their efforts here with more recordings in the near future!

Four stars.

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |


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